Sponsors of large, self-funded health plans struggling with the new Health Plan ID (HPID) requirement received a last-minute reprieve from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). On Friday, the CMS announced an enforcement “delay” with respect to the health plan enumeration and HPID regulations. The announcement comes on the heels of clarifying guidance from the CMS explaining how the HPID application process affects ERISA “wrap” plans. 

CMS does not explain why it chose to exercise its enforcement discretion so close to the November 5, 2014 deadline for obtaining HPID, nor does it explain how long the delay will remain in place. Instead, the announcement states the enforcement delay will be in effect “until further notice.” 

Plan sponsors should note that the requirement to obtain an HPID for controlling health plans (CHPs) has not yet been formally repealed or otherwise rescinded. Accordingly, employers that have not obtained HPIDs for their self-funded CHPs to date and do not qualify for the special “small controlling health plan” exception should continue their efforts to apply for an HPID so that they are in compliance when the enforcement delay is lifted.